A central library is more than just a library.
It sits at the heart of a city and beats with the pulse of the people who live there. It represents the city’s character, peoples’ future hopes, and their community pride.
Central library buildings are more than just structures. They’re built to represent the community itself, and to offer a common place that unites us and creates something we can all be proud of. It’s one of few public buildings through which we can build and reinforce our identity – something that represents Regina and its citizens.
Update: March 10, 2021
Work on Central Library development slowed down in 2020.
We are now starting to pick up speed once again and continue to work with our Owner’s Representative on a needs assessment and project plan.
The next step in this plan is to gather public opinion about Central Library investment through random sample polling. The Owner’s Representative has contracted the services of a third party to conduct this polling in the next few weeks.
This research will be added to the needs assessment and project plan. Further engagement with the public will be announced as the project progresses.
Background: Central Library Renewal
RPL initiated a renewal of Central Library to ensure the people of Regina have a library that serves their needs and makes them proud – a building that enables us to provide quality programs and services far into the future.
We don’t know what the community will expect from its library in years to come, but we have to be ready to provide it. A renewed Central Library will instill confidence that whatever may come, we’ll be ready for it.
The RPL Board of Directors contracted the services of Colliers Project Leaders and KPMG to develop a needs assessment and project plan about the future of Central Library. This report will provide the Board with options on the renewal of Central.
Research for the needs assessment and project plan began with a community open house and public survey in February 2020.
Work on the plan slowed when COVID became a serious issue in March 2020.
Now we are back on track and ready to move forward.
The current Central Library building was built in 1962. It has been showing its age for some time and we have outgrown the building.
Minor upgrades and fixes have been completed since its initial construction however our most recent building assessment indicates repairs of over $10M are required to the structure. Beyond building repair, the current space does not meet current safety standards or building code regulations.
Simply put, Central Library is outdated and in serious need of repair.
Not only that, its 1962 design was not constructed with the needs of today’s customers in mind: the population back then was half the number it is today. Research indicates that a central library in Regina should be upwards of 150,000 square feet to meet customer needs… yet the current facility sits at 75,000 square feet.
As well, our community has changed dramatically since 1962. We’re more diverse. We’re more connected. We’re more aware of our planet. We expect more from our libraries.
Our customers want a comfortable place to sit with their tablets while the kids play in safe children’s zone, to work on a resumé or meet with a study group, to participate in programs that teach them and help them explore our world, and more.
Library architecture has changed dramatically over the years and is much more responsive to community need. We invite you to look at other recent central library projects in Canada and around the world to see what we mean.
Imagine a library that pulses with life and gathers people from around the City to discover, learn, and connect. One that represents who we are as a community, and what we offer to the world. One that makes our children’s children proud.
Responds to Community Priorities
- Strengthens RPL’s role and presence as a downtown community hub.
- Brings community partners together and makes downtown a more inviting place to visit, work and live.
Enhances RPL Programs and Services
- Adds capacity and flexibility to the whole RPL system.
- Improves responsiveness to growth and diverse user needs for years to come.
Improves Quality of Life for All
- As a dynamic civic space in the heart of the city, the New Central Library provides welcoming, accessible, and inclusive space.
Supports Economic Growth
- Provides economic benefits to the community, as a catalyst for downtown revitalization, job creation, learning and innovation.
Central Library Renewal Documents
The RPL Board of Directors has commissioned a variety of reports from consulting and architectural firms to help inform its decision-making on the future of Central Library. You can find those reports on our documents page.